If a woman speaks of her achievements or experiences positively, with pride or joy, she often accused of bragging. When it comes to sharing a positive birth story, or breastfeeding experience, this can be considered bragging. Bragging is usually applied to situations were someone is “boasting excessively”, implying they are better than others because of the thing they are boasting about. But is this really what is happening?
Usually when someone is accused of bragging, it is because the listen feels uncomfortable. If hearing a positive experience of someone else leaves you feeling pressure, guilt, attacked or belittled…this means you need to reflect on yourself. It does not mean that person is bragging.
Why does the positive, rejoicement, celebrating ways of another offend you so much?
Why is it ‘bragging’? and who are ‘you’ to decide what someone can and can’t celebrate?
Positive stories are ESSENTIAL. And a positive birth is not ‘lucky’. Our standard approach to maternity care does nothing to prepare women for a positive experience, it is insurance driven and pathological by default. Our society does not value mothering, with a focus on ‘relieving the burden‘ rather than embracing the experience.
Women who have positive births talk about feeling respected, involved, a part of the experience…no matter what the ‘type’ of birth. Commonly, these women are well prepared and well supported. They are not bragging. They are rejoicing.
If you find yourself feeling down when you hear other’s celebrating their positive experience, you can seek a ‘debrief’ of your feelings with a doula. There are many doulas that offer this service to women when they are considering a subsequent pregnancy or are newly pregnant, or even just seeking to understand the experience. The joy of another should not leave you feeling bereaved, annoyed or angry. If you have feelings like this, direct your energy not at the source of your feelings. This may be unresolved feelings of a previous birth, or it may be fears or concerns you have about birth.
It is not a competitive sport. It is an incredibly important life event. You deserve to be heard and supported.
There is no one way, what matters is that you are informed and in a position to make informed decisions about what is right for you and your circumstances.